Anybody with valid insurance policy coverage can recover under UIM if he or she receives bodily injuries and/or property damages from an accident involving a motor vehicle and the motor vehicle causing the accident:
- does not provide adequate coverage for insured’s injuries and/or damages from the accident;
- is not insured by a motor vehicle liability policy applicable to the accident; or
- is covered by a motor vehicle liability policy of insurance but the insurer denies coverage for any reason or becomes the subject of insolvency proceedings in any jurisdiction; or
- Is a vehicle whose owner or operator cannot be identified.
D.C. Code § 31-2406
The UIM coverage is provided to the ‘insured’. The term ‘insured’ is defined as “a named insured or any other person insured in an insurance policy, with the exception of those persons specifically excluded by endorsement on the insurance policy.” D.C. Code § 31-2402 (10).
There has been an issue with the ‘household exclusion’ provisions, when an insurance policy would expressly deny coverage to the insured and his/her household members when an accident would be caused by one of them against the other. However, the DC courts have interpreted such exclusions to be against the District of Columbia’s Compulsory No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act. Household exclusion clause, which stated that there was no coverage for injury to insured or insured’s family members, and which was contained in automobile policy of husband who was killed while his wife was driving vehicle, was invalid to the extent it conflicted with the District of Columbia’s Compulsory No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act, which requires third-party personal liability coverage for the minimum amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident; however, there was no bar to enforcement of household exclusion with respect to amounts greater than minimum statutory requirements. Smalls v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 678 A.2d 32, 37 (D.C. 1996).